Planning commission recommends sale barn rezoning

Photo by Todd Gill / Enlarge
The property once home to the Washington County Livestock Auction is headed to the Fayetteville City Council for a re-zoning request from the current Industrial-1 (Heavy Commercial/Light Industrial) to Community Services.

For the second time in two years, the Fayetteville Planning Commission voted to recommend rezoning the site once home to the Washington County Livestock Auction.

Yes, the sale barn issue is headed back to the City Council to again decide whether it agrees with the commission’s recommendation and with city staff members who say a rezoning would be consistent with the city’s long-range plans outlined in City Plan 2025.

Commissioners voted 6-1 Monday to endorse rezoning of the property, located at 510 West 11th St., from the current Industrial-1 (Heavy Commercial/Light Industrial) to Community Services.

Permitted uses under Industrial-1 include heavy commercial and light industrial developments such as warehouses, manufacturing plants and wholesale bulk petroleum storage. The Community Services zoning allows residential buildings, restaurants and gas stations.

Sale barn view from S. School Ave.

View from the west side of the property.

Photos by Todd Gill

Billy Joe Bartholomew, whose family has owned the sale barn property for over 70 years, is likely hoping that a repeat of 2009 is not in store. Once residents and council members learned that Bartholomew was hoping to sell his land to a company that wanted to build a student apartment complex, the rezoning request went through three City Council readings and was tabled twice.

Residents said they didn’t want apartments on the edge of their neighborhood and veterans said they didn’t want college students living across the street from the Fayetteville National Cemetery.

As for council members, a major concern was that traffic caused by the new density of the area could funnel vehicles into the surrounding neighborhood. Ultimately, the Council voted 4-3 to deny the request.

Although Bartholomew has not said what his plans are for the property this time around, he has purchased an additional piece of land which sits between the sale barn and South School Avenue. Justin Eichmann, a spokesman for Bartholomew, said the newly acquired land could be used to quell traffic concerns by providing access from the commercial area to the east.

“The intention is for that to be the main entrance or thoroughfare to the development,” said Eichmann.

Commission vice chair Porter Winston was the only member to vote against the rezoning and said more time was needed to make a decision. Commissioner Craig Honchell disagreed.

“I think Mr. Bartholomew has been more than patient and more than willing to do whatever it takes to get something going,” said Honchell. “I think we need to give it a chance with a zoning the city can get behind this time.”

Map of sale barn property. (Bing Maps)

Disclosure: The owner of the sale barn property, Billy Joe Bartholomew, is the grandfather of Flyer staff member Dustin Bartholomew.